What’s the best software for recovering data?

Anwar sherzad November 29, 2011
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I would like to know the best software for recovering my data from a drive as quickly as possible. Thanks!

  1. Anonymous
    November 30, 2011 at 11:40 am
  2. Jeff Fabish
    November 30, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Hi Anwar,

    What operating system are you using? Check out our list of File Recovery tools. LifeHacker has compiled a list as well. My personal favorite is Recuva.

    - Jeff

  3. Mike
    November 30, 2011 at 6:17 am

    It depends on the drives file system, how the files where deleted and what happened in between.

    If you just now deleted files from an NTFS volume a tool like Recuva should immediately find it via the journal and enable you to restore it.

    If you formatted the drive or other none-destructive things happened with the drive you may need to do a sector scan which will take quite some time depending on the size of your drive.

    Rule of thumb is: Different software gives different results. The reason being that one software is stronger in recovering e.g. media data while others were tweaked to recover e.g. office files. 

    My personal favorite for recovering files is R-Studio because of it's extensive support and features.

    To finish it off one has to say that if the file was deleted a while ago and you continued to use the drive/computer there is the possibility that it was overwritten with new data in which case you won't be able to restore it.
    The same goes for any "secure delete/wipe" method that has overwritten the sectors where the deleted data was stored.

  4. Sonny Bass
    November 30, 2011 at 4:39 am

    If you were going to download a live linux distro to use I would recommend Puppy at only 129MB 


  5. John Jiang
    November 30, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I prefer Clonezilla, it copies your entire hard drive and saved into a server or external storage.  It's also able to create a recovery disc and is able to revert your hard drive to its original state.

    November 30, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Hello, is the computer still booting up or not?  If your drive is almost dead or having problems, you will have to use programs that startup from a disk.  You could try using a linux live boot cd like knopix or ubuntu to recover data.  You would have to donwload the image and burn it to a cd/dvd or you could use a usb drive.  Once disk or usb is burnt, you would have to start up computer from cd/dvd or usb drive:

    You could also use testdisk.  It is a very useful tool to recover data but you have to use commands to use it:


    Tutorial for testdisk:


    If you still can bootup your system you could use restoration:


    or recuva,

    or, undelete plus:

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